May 18 – Nurses face a steep increase in their practice registration fees to pay for a surge in complaints against them, it has been announced. A new fee of £120 proposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council would mean an increase of nearly 60 per cent.
The NMC says it is facing a 48 per cent increases in referrals of serious complaints against nurses and midwives in the last two years. Its expenditure is set to rise to £73 million a year from £52 million – paying for up to 20 hearings a day into complaints. The organisation says it is currently dealing with some 4,300 complaints against the UK’s 670,000 nurses and midwives.
The increase follows a turbulent year at the organisation and the loss of its chair and chief executive.
Interim chair Professor Judith Ellis said:” We recognise that it is a very difficult time to ask nurses and midwives to pay more for their regulation. It is clear that the rising costs of delivering fitness to practise have now outstripped the income that the £76 fee provides.
“Whilst the final level of the fee will be determined by the outcome of the consultation, I must warn registrants that an annual fee in the order of £120 is the level that is needed to protect the public and to ensure the integrity and the reputation of the professional register.”
But Obi Amadi, of Unite union, said: “Our members are horrified by this proposed 58 per cent rise from £76 to £120-a-year – a fee they must pay, if they wish to practice their profession.
”Our members resent having to pick up the bill for the failings of the NMC – which have been highlighted by two independent reviews saying how dysfunctional the organisation is.”
Source: Englemed Newsroom